Thursday, December 29, 2016

What New Year is to Me

I have always wondered if there is any meaningful difference between December 31 (last day of the "old" year and January 1 (first day of the "new" year), the two days that straddle New Year's Eve.  The New Year period, of course, includes the last week of December and the first week of January.

When I was a little boy, my mother, uncles, aunts, lolos, and lolas. and older siblings always reminded me that New Year's Day is the first day that I should practice what I have resolved to do for the next year as per my new year's resolution.  Of course, when one is young and a bit restless, the meaning of the new year's resolution is largely incoherent in spite of good intentions.

When I was a bit older, school, church, and family always combined their forces to remind us, youngsters, that the New Year symbolized the beginning of a new life that we all had to cultivate so that we would live in prosperity the next year; and life the year after would be governed by another set of new year's resolutions.  That didn't work well either.  We always slid back to normal life right on New Year's Day.  As it turned out, our New Year's Resolution was simply a dream at the dawn of New Year's Day.

When I became a young adult, New Year's Day became less important and less meaningful.  We forgot largely what it was all about.  But we did learn about social issues and social evils.  We even began questioning a lot of contemporary norms.   We learned a lot of these but we were short of the real solutions to real social problems.  As young adults, apparently our job was to identify what we would call social issues and complain about them even as we didn't offer appropriate solutions.

As professionals, we added experience to our stock knowledge and tried to solve social problems.  Strangely. in spite of applying what we learned from school, from being government workers, from being members of the NGO community, from being elected local and national officials, from being high level government officials, from being followers of our respective religions,  from having been members of the international bureaucracy, and in spite of international aid, we have failed big time in solving our problems.

We sure have learned a lot.  We have learned to be global thinkers, and we have identified all the social issues besetting our only country.  And we have failed spectacularly.


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